Why Mandatory COVID-19 Testing For Prospective Corp Members?

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As the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) gears up for this year’s orientation, a new mandate has emerged: all prospective corps members must undergo COVID-19 testing before entering camp. However, amidst swirling debates online, questioning the reality of COVID-19, and expressing skepticism towards vaccination campaigns, the rationale behind this requirement remains shrouded in mystery. What factors have prompted this decision, and what implications does it hold for those poised to embark on their service journey? Are some of the questions asked.

During the 2024 pre-orientation course/workshop held in Abuja, the NYSC Director-General, Brigader General Yusha’u Ahmed, shed some light on the matter. He cited guidance from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) as the driving force behind the decision, highlighting concerns surrounding the resurgence of COVID-19 in certain countries and the imperative to prevent its reintroduction in Nigeria.

Ahmed emphasised the need for continuous surveillance in all orientation camps to preempt any potential transmission of COVID-19 variants. He said that Corps members are strongly encouraged to verify their health status. Details regarding the testing modalities will be communicated in due course, ensuring that all necessary precautions are in place to safeguard the well-being of participants.

However, the reason stated above, as far as Nigerians are concerned, does not suffice for the exposure of such population to the various harms that these vaccines pose to public health and safety. Not to mention the discourse casting doubts on the authenticity of the COVID-19 resurgence in Nigeria.

Considering the history of the said vaccines: they neither prevented nor cured the virus, pertinent questions that the DG needs to answer are: will this shot protect recipients from potential health risks? Should there be any adverse effect, will the DG be held liable? The intersection of public health, individual rights, and government policies are also other focal points for critical examination.

 

 

 

 

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